Where’s the humans?

MAX FITZGIBBON is as an army engineer officer, project manager, and general manager who has resided in Melville for 25 years. In this week’s THINKING ALLOWED he says the human touch is sadly lacking from efforts to modernise Melville.

THE front page of the September 28 Herald told the tragic story of how a Canning Bridge family has had its financial position gutted as a resulted of a 15-storey building being approved next door.

This is not an isolated example.

The impersonal lack of consideration given to long term, salt of the earth, model citizens who are being trodden upon by the respective city’s when recommending approvals in Responsibility Authority Reports to Joint Development Assessment Panels, and in turn by JDAP, is happening in both the Melville and the South Perth precincts at Canning Bridge.

In another example we have an elderly couple who have resided in the same residence for the past 45 years, and had no intention of moving.

They are to have their habitable living area overshadowed, and privacy compromised, by a six-storey apartment block immediately to their north.

Details are available at Metro Central JDAP 306.

RAR’s impersonally discuss what is to happen with trees and awnings, etc. but no mention is made of the impact upon the lives of the residents and their families next door.

The human aspect is simply “not a planning consideration” for existing properties in the Canning Bridge Activity Centre Plan area.

It is for the future apartment dwellers.

Those who gave birth to this conduct should be ashamed of themselves. It is no way to treat human beings.

City’s just go about their business ticking boxes and devastating lives.

They appear not to have the acumen or processes to “manage” the situation. This is a disgrace.

Devastating lives

If a City cannot responsibly manage situations like these, then they should enlist the help of organisations that can.

People need a human level of consideration. It should be a box to be ticked only after close consultation with affected residents.

It is the residents who breathe life into the city, not the apartment buildings.

As the city’s do not appear to employ staff capable of this function, it should be addressed as a priority need.

The current process is not acceptable. It really isn’t like winning lotto for this elderly couple living out their life in the castle they have built for themselves over the past 45 years.

It is the opposite, it’s a nightmare. Perhaps they will need to jump off the monstrosity they face, before councils see the light.

People should not be treated this way simply because planning boxes have been ticked.

I do not know this couple personally, but I emphasise with them.

City’s like to be first with everything, so how about being first to introduce a human element into policies and procedures.

Tick that box with full transparency. Let the residents see a human element in deliberations.

Actually, you won’t be first. Some councils already resist the pressure of planning requirements which ride roughshod over the residents, and show a human face. This needs to happen with the CBACP area.

New mayors and elected Members are about to be voted into office. Votes should go to those who are prepared to address the human elements and stand up for their constituents.

Give the residents greater consideration than the trees. Yes, this will take courage, but I think it should be a prerequisite.

The City’s talk about duty of care to employees with a safe workplace, and devise policies to deal with ratepayer behaviour.

It is time to think about the health, safety, and wellbeing of the residents when boxes are being ticked.

Councils must listen to the plea for help of these people being subjected to the pitfalls of the CBACP.

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